Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Regulatory Overreach Smothering Economy

By Senator John Barrasso

Last year, President Obama promised Americans a recovery summer. This year, he’s given us a regulatory summer. He’s thrown a giant wet blanket on economic recovery and has given Americans a summer of more burdens, more costs and more rules.

At the beginning of this year, the White House issued an executive order to all agencies to review regulations. The goal was to cut costs and take Washington off the backs of business. The president’s order instructed all agencies that all rules “must promote predictability and reduce uncertainty” and “must identify and use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends.”

Since that order, more than seven months ago, the administration has repealed only one rule - a rule that effectively treated spilled milk like an oil spill. By contrast, since the start of the year, the administration has proposed more than 340 regulations at a cost of more than $65 billion to job creators. It is important to note that these are only the regulations for which the administration actually conducted an economic analysis. For hundreds more, it has regulated blindly, with no cost or job numbers associated with its rules.

The president said on his recent bus tour that “there is some red tape that needs to be cut, and we should cut it.” Yet in just one week in August, two new rules were finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - rules that increased the regulatory burden on job creators by $10 billion.

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